Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Review: The Legacy by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

Title: The Legacy
Author: Yrsa Sigurdardottir
Series: Children's House, #1
Published: January 2019, Minotaur Books (1st Published 2014 in Iceland)
Format: Paperback, 480 pages
Source: Publisher

The first in a stunning new series from the author of The Silence of the Sea, winner of the 2015 Petrona Award for best Scandinavian Crime Novel.
The Legacy is the first installment in a fantastic new series featuring the psychologist Freyja and the police officer Huldar.

The only person who might have the answers to a baffling murder case is the victim's seven-year-old daughter, found hiding in the room where her mother died. And she's not talking.

Newly-promoted, out of his depth, detective Huldar turns to Freyja for her expertise with traumatized young people. Freyja, who distrusts the police in general and Huldar in particular, isn't best pleased. But she's determined to keep little Margret safe.

It may prove tricky. The killer is leaving them strange clues, but can they crack the code? And if they do, will they be next?

My thoughts: While this is the first book I've read by Yrsa Sigurdardottir, and the first book in her newest series, Children's House, she is by no means a new author to me. I had the pleasure of meeting her a few years back when she came over to the states for an event and while I did purchase one of her books from her other series, I just haven't had the chance to read it yet. But after devouring this one, I definitely am going to be moving that other series up in priority...after I read the next book in this new series!

I cannot believe how consumed I was with this book, especially given how dark and disturbing it is, but the writing just pulled me in right from the beginning. The book comes in at just under 500 pages, yet I flew through the pages, finding that I needed to know how all these threads that Yrsa had given us were not only connected but were going to play out in the end.

The book starts in 1987 with three young children having to be separated after an unspeakable event happens to their mother. Not being able to find a family to take all three children in, they go off to three different families. Fast forward to 2015, and a set of gruesome murders start to occur. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. While there is no blood and gore, the way these murders are carried out - they are gruesome, shocking, and disturbing nonetheless and will be hard to forget once you read about them, so be forewarned. 

Fortunately, there was a witness to the first murder. The daughter of the murdered victim was hiding under the bed and has seen the murderer. She is brought to the Children's House for the necessary counseling and care. It's up to Freyja, the pyschologist in charge of the Children's House and Huldar, the lead detective on the case, to convince the young girl to open up about what she heard and saw that frightful night. 

This was such a great start to this series. I'm not sure if both Freyja and Huldar are going to be part of the series moving forward or just Freyja, but I loved the dynamics between the two of them. There was definitely tension between them due to a previous meeting and I would so love to see how this affects them moving forward. They were able to put this prior meeting aside for the sake of this case, but there are definitely unresolved issues there that I would love to see hashed out.

As far as the case goes, this was a chilling, haunting case that had me on the edge of my seat the further I got into the book. As much as I tried to figure out who was behind everything, I got nowhere and was completely gobsmacked at the reveal! I know that there is literally next to no crime in Iceland on the whole, so knowing this, I could appreciate the rationale behind the murderer's rage and wanting revenge when we finally get it - not that that is an excuse! 

This is such a layered, complex story and all the twists and turns it took really added to the building suspense that takes you on quite a ride. And the entire time, I was wondering how the prologue would tie in - and it's not til the end that it is revealed. This is such a binge-worthy, addicting read and I can't recommend it enough. I am quite eager to start the next book in this series, The Reckoning, which comes out next month, and hope that this series has a nice long run - I love long series! 

Books in this series:
  1. The Legacy
  2. The Reckoning - due out February 2019


1 comment

  1. Kristin, it's great to immerse yourself in a book, and to look forward to the next book in a series. February will be here before you know it. I enjoyed your enthusiastic review!


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